Altar for Our Ancestors and Cōātlīcue

Thank you to Rosa De Anda,

Marigold Project,

for the vision,

and to the Bryant Elementary School community

for its participation

in the creation of this altar.


The Altar for Our Ancestors and Cōātlīcue is the Central Altar of the Festival of Altars for Day of the Dead 2022. This altar represents self-love, love in relationship to the other, community, and the universe. Its symbol is the never-ending spiral. It unifies the other altars in honor of the four compass directions, the elements and the different stages in the cycle of life and death.

In this altar Mother Nature, the Aztec Goddess Cōātlīcue, She who is capable of creating and destroying it all, reminds us, dressed in green and the colors of the rainbow, to care for the environment and to treat each other with respect. She gave birth to the Stars, the Moon and the Sun. Goddess of fertility, she sees her children through a Mother’s eyes, pained when they fight amongst themselves and mistreat Earth.

Beautiful wooden beads embellish Cōātlīcue's hair. Small personal altars adorn her skirt. Many were created by students from Bryant Elementary School. Community youth and adults tenderly supported and guided the children as they communicated their memories of loved ones through their art. Our Ancestors and Cōātlīcue connect us to one another.







Marigold Project

¡Gracias por su ayuda con las hermosas flores y ofrendas!




Thank you, Andrew, William, Noah and Emma for all your help!

¡Gracias, Laura, por todo tu apoyo con este proyecto!


Thank you, Nina, for all your support, coordination and creativity! Thank you also for guiding your students as they created their individual altars to add to this piece.


I really appreciate all the teachers and staff who participated in this event by bringing students to see the installation process and helping students make beads with personal messages to add to the altar. ¡Gracias en especial a Josh, Sevasti, Jen, Sandy, Dorothy y sus estudiantes!


¡Gracias a la increíble comunidad de Bryant Elementary School!







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